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Editor's Notes : Life, Morpo and Everything by Robert Fulkerson
published in Volume 3, Issue 1 on February 8th, 1996

I spend a good portion of most of my days doing one of three things: spending time at the University of Nebraska at Omaha two days a week being a full-time instructor in computer science; spending time at Novia Internetworking two or more days a week (and many hours online) being a partner in an Internet Service Provider company; or any of a number of other projects that I'm involved in, which includes editing Morpo.

Some of our long-time readers may remember that a little over a year and seven months ago, I married a wonderful woman. That same wonderful, beautiful woman stands by me or is in my thoughts throughout each minute of every day. On the average, we probably see each other awake about an hour or two every day. Her full-time graduate school schedule and work schedule don't overlap with my activities very well, and therefore we don't get to spend too much time together. But the time that we do spend together, although we're both usually fairly exhausted, is a wonderful, refreshing time. It sounds flaky and corny, but it's true. It's the fact that she's there or that she will be there when I get home or when she gets home that is very invigorating. It keeps you going.

Morpo is celebrating its second birthday this issue. Ten issues (that's two years to you and me) ago, we went to press with an issue that we were very proud of. Ten issues later, we're going to press with an issue that we're very proud of. What has never ceased to amaze me is the constant quality of the material we receive for each issue. I'm no more proud of this current issue than I am with the first, third or eigth issues. They're all special in their own ways, they all have their own distinctive slants and curves. If pressed, I wouldn't be able to pick a "favorite" issue or a "best" issue. Nor would I be able to pick a "best" or "favorite" poem, story or column.

In the past three months, Morpo has received some very favorable reviews and mentions. In December, we were reviewed as a five-star web site in the premiere issue of Internet Underground. In January, we were selected as a "GNN WIC Select" site. Now, in the February issue of the popular Internet glossy, the Net, we received a B+ rating with high marks in both content and technical web savvy.

But, when you boil it down, the staff of Morpo is receiving these accolades. Unfortunately, we're just four folks we read submissions, discuss them at Barnes & Noble or a homeless shelter and print what we believe to be the best of what we've received. Except for the occasional column or poem, we're not really Morpo. Morpo is all of the authors that we've published over the past two years. They've taken pieces of their lives, shaped them with pieces of other peoples' lives, and shared those creations with us. Our authors and you, the gentle reader, are what keep Morpo going.

... and it's my lovely wife that keeps me going when I'm feeling tired and peaked. It's my loving wife who tells me that it's okay to spend time in the computer room to finish writing a column for the current issue of Morpo, so that it can all keep going on ... and on ... and on.

Live Web Chat with Todd Brendan Fahey

On Thursday, February 22nd, 1996 at 9:00 PM, CST, Morpo will be hosting its first ever Morpo Review CyberCafe conference. This first conference will be with the author of this issue's book excerpt, Wisdom's Maw. To participate in the conference, which will be open to about 30 people on a first-come basis, you will need a graphical World Wide Web browser (preferrably Netscape, as the Microsoft Internet Explorer appears to have problems with the chat site) and a connection to the Internet. Point your browser at http://morpo.novia.net/morpo/chat/ and follow the instructions from there. This should prove to be interesting, if not a bit chaotic!

Censorship on the Internet, American Style

By now, you've undoubtedly heard that the United States Congress has passed the 1996 Telecommunications Regulation Bill. Nestled inside this bill is the dreaded and ill-intentioned "Communication Decency Act", a bill proposed by a senator from my own home state of Nebraska (is it any wonder he's not running for another term?).

I'm not going to stand on a pedastal and shout that our First Amendment rights to free speech are being stomped on. We all know that. In a statement issued by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on their WWW site at http://www.eff.org/pub/Alerts/cda_020296_eff.statement, they state that:

"[The CDA will] create a new "access crime", equating the posting of material on a web site, or even the provision of basic Internet access, with willful transmission of indecent material directly to minors - harming the online service industry, and retarding the development of the electronic press ..."

"Electronic press", of course, means Morpo and any of the other literary magazines and magazines on a variety of other topics that can be found solely on the Internet. This is an unfortunate state of affairs. Does this mean that stories or poems published in Morpo that contain references to sexual matter, or that contain "foul language", will fall under this new "access crime" category? Probably. Does this mean that Morpo will stop publishing literature that contains references to sexual matter, foul language or other items that could be considered "indecent"? We certainly hope not.

Since this bill affects everyone on the Internet, including our friends in foreign countries, I would encourage everyone to take a few moments to read up on this heinous intrusion on our basic human right to free speech at some of the following sites:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation
http://www.eff.org/
The EFF Action Alerts Section
http://www.eff.org/pub/Alerts/index.html#exon
The EFF Blue Ribbon Campaign
http://www.eff.org/blueribbon.html
Latest CDA Update From CDT (just send a blank message for an info-bot response)
cda-stat@cdt.org
Center for Democracy and Technology
http://www.cdt.org/
CNN Interactive's Telecom Bill Web Page
http://www.cnn.com/US/9602/telecom_bill/index.html
HotWired's Net Censorship Crisis Update
http://www.hotwired.com/special/indecent/

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